The past week or so I have been so sick with a bug that I caught in the office when I got back from Berlin. I've spent the past two days up curled up in bed, unable to move so this post is pretty apt for me right now! It's all about Self Care, and the importance thereof.
These days, us millennials are so busy trying to balance our careers, our side hustle, families, friends, continuing education (via TED talks, travel, podcasts, etc), and eating avocado toast, we sometimes forget to focus on what is possibly the most important thing in our lives - ourselves. This is why Self Care is trending, and growing in both awareness and popularity. But seeing it being discussed on Twitter or pinned on Pinterest, doesn’t mean we actually know what it is.
What is Self Care?
Well, first things first - Self Care isn’t just a visit to Lush and ticking a box in our bullet journals. Self Care is about caring for ourselves on an emotional, psychological and physical level. It’s about deliberately nurturing ourselves and intentionally taking the time to ensure we are promoting our own well-being.
The aim is to reduce anxiety, reduce stress, and for a moment to remember to treat ourselves properly, because considering how busy we all are it’s easy to forget the little things - like our own sanity.
Where do I start?
Filling a bathtub with bubbles, lighting a candle or two, and locking the bathroom door is all good and fine, yet Self Care isn’t an occasional treat to yourself.
It’s small changes to our everyday life and lifestyle.
Start off small and stick with the basics such an ensuring you get enough sleep, eating properly, and developing a routine. Over time, you will gradually be able to include more Self Care activities into this routine in a holistic manner that won’t divert your time from your other priorities - you’ll simply improve the way you approach them.
Are there rules?
Self Care is different for everyone - not everyone loves and cares in the same way, after all.
However, there’s a few basics to help you on your way. Remember, Self Care isn’t just about changing what we do, but also about the way we think.
There is nothing wrong with declining offers and saying no, especially if it’s something you don’t like or care for. Saying no isn’t selfish - it’s self preservation.
This will mean different things to different people, but it may be as simple to adding extra vegetables to your plate, taking a multivitamin, or switching from Vodka and Coke to Vodka Soda.
I’ve spoken before about getting enough sleep, and most people aren’t getting enough. No one falls asleep the second they hit the pillow, so it’s essential to ensure you take into consideration this extra time of non-sleep when calculating your bedtime each evening.
Let's not go crazy and buy a gym membership, but increasing your activity helps increase serotonin levels, which of course improves your mood. Being more active can be as simple as taking the stairs instead of an escalator, or walking to the shops instead of driving.
This is a tough one, but it’s important to take some time every day away from stress and responsibility in order to relax. Whether it’s meditation, a walk through the park, or an extra long shower, disconnecting from the world, even for 15 minutes, will help you refocus on yourself and clear your mind.
Self Care Activities
Now that we know what Self Care is and have started thinking differently about our own health and wellbeing, it’s time to start including acts of Self Care to our agendas - Yes, it’s time to go to Lush!
Lush aside, there are innumerable ways to look after yourself, so here's a few ideas to get you on your way:
Relax and Read
Grab your favourite book (or that one you’ve mean meaning to start),) sit back, relax, and commit to yourself to finish what you start - whether it’s a set number of pages, chapters, or the whole book!
Bubbles and Bublé
Ok, so it may not have to be Bublé, per se, but pour yourself a glass of bubbles, put on some fun music, and enjoy yourself, the music and the moment.
Baths and Bombs
Bathbombs, or fragrant oils, are the easiest way to take bathtime to the next level. It’s not just about relaxing, it’s about creating a sensory experience that includes vivid colours and rich aromas.
Retreat and write
Writing is a great way to retreat from reality and take some time for yourself. You can write poetry, stories, a journal, a mind map, or anything else that helps take the words and thoughts from one place, and sets them to paper.
Engage and Exercise
Whether it’s your mind or your body, taking time to yourself to engage and exercise is all about ensuring both physical and mental health. Engage in activities that get you active, or activities that make you think - the brain needs exercise too!
Tell me, do you think Self Care is important? How do you ensure you look after yourself - mind, body, and soul?
xx Bry Jaimea